The official news is:
Established and mid-career New Zealand writers are invited to apply for the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship 2013.
The Fellowship is one of New Zealand’s longest-standing and most prestigious literary opportunities. It offers a residency of at least six months in Menton, France and NZ$75,000.
The support of the city of Menton enables a New Zealand author to work at the Villa Isola Bella, where Katherine Mansfield lived and wrote during the latter part of her life.
Established in 1970, there have been 42 recipients of this fellowship including: Janet Frame, Michael King, Lloyd Jones, Witi Ihimaera, Vincent O’Sullivan, Bill Manhire, Ian Wedde, Dame Fiona Kidman, Jenny Pattrick, Ken Duncum and the 2012 recipient, Justin Paton.
The Fellowship is an initiative of the Winn-Manson Menton Trust and is administered by Creative New Zealand. The Trust gratefully acknowledges a $25,000 grant from the New Zealand/France Friendship Fund towards the residency.The unofficial news is that you can download a PDF of the application form here. Full details on eligibility, and what the selection panel are looking for, is here. If you need more information, the person to ask is Marlene LeCren at Creative NZ.
My impression from talking to friends who have had the fellowship is that while the money is great, accommodation can be an issue and working in the Villa Isola Bella is hard (here is a great* piece Nigel Cox wrote about it for Sport) – but it is a wonderful opportunity to live and work in the South of France. The Mansfield connection is nice and a room of one’s own is always good, but for me the best thing would be that Menton is a short drive from Italy.
* Younger readers may be baffled by this bit in Nigel’s essay:
There’s no phone calls, no visitors, no interruptions, so you get on with it (how’s that, Mr McLauchlan?).A footnote explains:
When Gordon McLauchlan’s attack on state patronage to writers was published in the NZ Herald at least half a dozen ‘friends’ instantly thought of me and sent a copy. For two weeks afterwards I worked in a fury of self-justifying indignation.Few will remember McLauchlan’s “attack on state patronage to writers” but I do. If memory serves it was on the front page of the feature section of the Saturday Herald on 23 March 1991. It was as wrong-headed as anything I have ever read in the Herald, which is saying something. There is a reasonable case to be made against state funding of the arts, but that wasn’t it. By 1994 McLauchlan was president of the NZ Society of Authors, an organisation very keen on state funding of the arts, and he became an energetic, useful proponent. I wonder what happened.